Rarely does a team get away with as much inattention to detail as the Baltimore Orioles did tonight. They have Edy to thank for the save.

Murray's two-run single in the eighth inning with the bases loaded helped give Balory over the Texas Rangers and excused his teammates the wild pitches and mental errors that could have made for one of the Orioles' most disheartening performances in quite a while.

The of 44,970, the Orioles' biggest since opening day, breathed in relief and cheered delightedly when Murray hit ball to right to drive in Rick Dempsey and Dan Ford and give Baltimore a 7-6 lead. John Lowenstein's sacrifice Ripken for the final run in the three-run eighth.

The win puts the Orioles 1 1/2 games in front of the secs in the American League's East. New York lost, 7-2, to the White Sox in Chicago.

Of the team's sloppy defeowenstein said, "Those kind of things afflict every club. It's just the order that's a little odd. It usually ly and August to the good clubs."

"But we won the son-of-a-gun," said Manager Joe Altobelli. Sammy Stewart e Schmidt (2-2), who provided Cruz with a bases-full situation, was the loser.

In a long, sometimes strangedeparture from it was perhaps the night's oddest event. With two on base and one out, Schmidt pitched Ripken tnt. Texas Manager Doug Rader called for Cruz from the bullpen, but because the manager had made two trips to ttter--Ripken--was at the plate, he was forced by Rule 8.06 to return Schmidt to continue to pitch to Ripken. Schen and Cruz came in to face Murray.

The Rangers' fourth straight loss ensued.

Altobelli said he'd never like it.

"It's vague, it must have happened years ago," he said. "I've seen situations when guys go so far as to restrain the manager from crossing the line. But I've never seen it actually come to this."

Altobelli, and everybody else in the Baltimore locker room, wore relieved expressions, knowing they had come from behind three times to beat a hungry, if mediocre, team.

Starters Storm Davis of Baltimore and Rick Honeycutt each allowed three runs in the first two innings.

With both starters in the showers, and the score tied, 5-5, in the Rangers' eighth, the Orioles committed a series of misplays that could have cost them the game.

Larry Parrish reached second on a walk and a sacrifice, and Rader sent Mickey Rivers to pinch hit for Jim Sundberg. Rivers fouled off two of Stewart's 3-2 pitches, twirling the bat after each foul.

Then Rivers chopped the ball to Murray, whose toss to Stewart at first appeared to have Rivers by a half-step. First base umpire Marty Springstead, however, ruled Rivers safe and Altobelli sprinted out of the dugout for the usual tete a tete.

"Marty said he called it the way he saw it," Altobelli said wryly. "He gave me the usual time for an argument and sent me on my way."

Altobelli should have stayed out on the field to give a defensive clinic.

Catcher Dempsey tried to catch Parrish leading off third but the throw to Todd Cruz was late. Unwisely, Cruz turned his back on the field to bemoan the call and Rivers blithely stole second base during the dawdle.

Stewart was clearly flustered and threw a wild pitch that scored Parrish and gave the Rangers a 6-5 lead.

But whether it was the sight of so many fans waving their give-away tankards or a good team catching up and passing a weaker one, the Orioles entered the bottom of the eighth unflustered and ready to take the game.